Cloyne and the Persistence of Persona

CLOWN (2014)

Directed by: Jon Watts
Written by: Jon Watts, Christopher D. Ford
Produced by: Eli Roth
Rated R
100 min

Digging Up The Marrow and finding Adam Green


Adam Green's latest film is mostly a tribute to Adam Green. He wrote, directed, produced, edited, and starred in a film about monsters... and himself. If your a random horror fan, who for some reason doesn't know who Adam Green is, don't worry. DIGGING UP THE MARROW gives you a full recap of his career. It may come across as narcissistic at first, but Adam is so lovable that you watch in hopes that he will actually find monsters.

The plot is simple: while Adam is gearing up for a new season of HOLLISTON he receives a piece of fan mail that sends him down the rabbit hole. The journals of William Dekker outline a new approach to what creates something monstrous. Armed with a camera and a never doubting belief in creatures, Adam and his long time friend/cinematographer Will Barratt set off to the Marrow (an entrance into the catacombs of freak city).


Adam is willing to put his show and his life in jeopardy just for a tiny glimpse of otherworldly beings. By starring in the film as himself and featuring members of the horror community, Green creates a very post-modern monster film. You will see a fantastic list of cameos in the film: Tony Todd, Joe Lynch, Lloyd Kaufman, Don Coscarelli, Mick Garris, Tom Holland, and Kane Hodder. It becomes a game of who's who in "Horror Hollywood." These directors all coming together to be featured in Adam's film, creates a reality to all of the subsequent events. Which is the main goal of any found footage film. The only problem within DIGGING UP THE MARROW is who plays William Dekker. While everyone else is themselves, the role of Dekker went to the brilliant Ray Wise. Normally, there would be no issue with casting Wise. Since we all know who he is, this fact actually steals away from what Green is trying to accomplish. It would have been an excellent choice to have used Alex Pardee for the part (his artistry is featured throughout the film).

This is no gripe against Ray Wise, who cemented himself in the nerd community by giving us one of the best television performances ever captured. His Leland Palmer is etched into our memory. Leland's daughter has been murdered, his hair has turned white, and he cries while dancing - no character has ever shown the absurd reality that grief can be. Wise began his horror career as Dr. Holland in SWAMP THING and throughout the years has held our attention with an onslaught of small roles. He's worked with Paul Verhoeven in ROBOCOP, Victor Salva - the sex offender - in JEEPERS CREEPERS II, Mike Mendez in BIG ASS SPIDER!, and had the stand-out performance in Richard Bates Jr's SUBURBAN GOTHIC. Ray Wise has been everywhere and while he's never been Hollywood's leading man, he holds a special place in our hearts. He worked with Green in CHILLERAMA and as a landlord in HOLLISTON's first episode. It would seem only right to provide him a leading role in DIGGING UP THE MARROW, but it deters you from the cool reality that Green sets up. Wise's conspiracy theorist/monster hunter character is believable and delivered with such ease that you almost forget that it's Ray Wise - but in the end, you just can't forget that it is RAY WISE!


Everything else about Adam's film is a work of love. The monsters look beautiful and the world-hidden-from-ours concept is intriguing. While watching, you will want to believe in this realm Adam's found. I appreciate that besides Ray Wise, the reality of the film is kept intact. This means that the real people, who play themselves, do not die. This may seem like a spoiler but it's not. Anything can happen to William Dekker since he is a fictitious character, but everyone else in the film is alive and well today. To have any 'real' person die within the story would have been a huge letdown and ruined the film. So, I'm just saying, you do not have to worry about this letdown. It's an all-around fun experience and you get to see fellow horror nerds talking about monsters. I would highly recommend it! You know, if your into Adam Green, Ray Wise, and monsters.

RATING IV/V